DADT Repeal Implementation Plan Announced

In response to a memo from the Secretary of Defense on January 28th, the Under Secretary of Defense Clifford Stanley issued a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal implementation plan last Friday. This plan became public yesterday when it was included in a memo from the Under Secretary to military officials. The plan walks through the major events and key tasks that must take place in each phase of implementation.  It  addresses policy implementation, training and education of the force, and internal and external communications necessary during each phase.

The first progress update on repeal implementation is due to the Under Secretary by March 1. In the meantime, the Under Secretary states that military leaders “will work together to solidify the format of progress updates as well as the frequency of leadership meetings.” The progress updates will include, at minimum, information on units trained, personnel trained, status of updated regulations, and other preparation activities as required.

Notably, the plan does not require all service members to be trained and educated on repeal prior to final repeal. Instead, repeal can occur as soon as training and education of service members begins and a plan for completion is in place. That said, the plan requires that military experts, such as judge advocates and military equal opportunity advisors, and military leaders, such as commanding officers and civilian supervisors, are fully trained and educated prior to final repeal.

The repeal implementation plan also requires the military to engage stakeholders, such as advocacy organizations, during the pre-repeal phase – the current phase of the plan. In addition, it acknowledges that congressional hearings on implementation may begin during the certification process. Finally, it recognizes that it the military may need to continue to tweak their policies regarding lesbian and gay service members following implementation, as well as revise education and training programs for sustained education and training efforts.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

Surprise, surprise – Rep. Duncan Hunter filing bill to halt implementation of DADT repeal

It’s like a bad sitcom; one so bad that the writers hand the script out to the audience so they can read the punchlines and sob at how sh*tty the writing is.

One of the authors of this particular flaming turd of a script is California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Did I mention he’s a Republican? He is attempting to best serve his constituents’ needs (I guess economic issues in the Golden State aren’t top priority) by focusing on how to keep the soap from dropping in the showers if gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly. The UNENDING SOAP-DROP CREEP SCRIPT.

This variation isn’t even original, but it’s predictable – get all of the service chiefs permission before signing off on repeal. Miss Mitch McConnell already tried and failed that stale script over in the Senate. (The Hill):

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.

The repeal bill, signed into law Dec. 22 by President Obama, requires only the OK of the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs chairman.

The chairman technically speaks for the chiefs, but they should be included in the debate,” said the aide. “The chiefs are the ones carrying the burden of combat on their shoulders.”

Hunter’s measure would require the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps chiefs to submit to the congressional defense committees “written certification that repeal … will not degrade the readiness, effectiveness, cohesion and morale of combat arms units and personnel of the armed force under [each] officer’s jurisdiction engaged in combat, deployed to a combat theater, or preparing for deployment to a combat theater,” according to a copy obtained by The Hill.

One of the commenters at The Hill hit the nail on the head:

If Repubs are now going to focus on moral and social issues it will be a short stay in the majority for them indeed. Budget, jobs, out of control spending, etc. are the issues Repubs were sent to fix; not our society!!

H/t, Joe @ Americablog.



* Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Concern With DADT Includes “Hermaphrodites” And “Transgenders”
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Key findings and full text of Pentagon report on ‘don’t ask don’t tell’

For your afternoon reading, below is a copy of the Pentagon report on “don’t ask don’t tell” that was released just moments ago, as well as a copy of the Support Plan for Implementation. And here’s a summary of the key findings from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (for another summary, go here):

When asked about the actual experience of serving in a unit with a co-worker who they believed was gay or lesbian, 92% stated that the unit’s “ability to work together” was “very good,” “good,” or “neither good nor poor.”

• When asked about how having a service member in their immediate unit who said he or she is gay would affect the unit’s ability to “work together to get the job done,” 70% of Service members predicted it would have a positive, mixed, or no effect.

When asked “in your career, have you ever worked in a unit with a co-worker that you believed to be homosexual,” 69% of Service members reported that they had.

• In communications with gay and lesbian current and former service members, the CRWG repeatedly heard a patriotic desire to serve and defend the Nation, subject to the same rules as everyone else.

The CRWG is convinced that our military can do this, even during this time of war. They do not underestimate the challenges in implementing a change in the law, but neither should we underestimate the ability of our extraordinarily dedicated Service men and women to adapt to such change and continue to provide our Nation with the military capability to accomplish any mission.

The CRWG found “the risk of repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell to overall military effectiveness is low.”

The CRWG believes this to be the “largest, most Comprehensive review of a personnel policy matter which the department of defense has ever undertaken.”

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DADTReport SPI FINAL 20101130(Secure Hires)

—  John Wright

Rep. Marc Veasey again files bill seeking study of hate crimes act but says it’s ‘not going anywhere’

For the third consecutive legislative session, State Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, filed legislation last week calling for a study on the implementation of Texas’ hate crimes statute.

Veasey wants to know why, despite thousands of hate crimes reported to law enforcement since the statute was passed in 2001, only about a dozen cases have been prosecuted in court as hate crimes. If you’ll remember, the statute covers “sexual preference” but not gender identity.

In an interview the other day with KXAN (video above), Veasey cited homophobia as one of the reasons why the statute isn’t being used:

While Veasey understands that it’s hard to prosecute hate crimes he believes there’s another, underlying reason why prosecutors are rarely using the law.

“You have some people on the right that have said that it is a bill that protects gays and so they are against it for that reason,” Veasey said.

And Veasey told The Star-Telegram that the outcome of this year’s elections means the bill is likely doomed again in next year’s session, which begins in January.

“I’m going to try it, but quite frankly it’s not going anywhere,” Veasey said. “A lot of these folks that got elected were elected on opposition to the president and probably feel that being for anything pro-civil rights would hurt them in their political careers.”

Wait a second, is Veasey suggesting they’re going to completely ignore this memo?

—  John Wright

Colin Powell: I did not misrepresent DADT implementation to President Clinton

Notice how many people who were part of the DADT implementation era are trying to back off their role in the discriminatory policy? Now there’s a mini-spat between Colin Powell and President Clinton that, quite frankly is irrelevant because neither has put themselves out there to pressure Congress or this WH to be more aggressive regarding repeal. (CBS)

Mr. Clinton said in an interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, “Now, when Colin Powell sold me on don’t ask, don’t tell, here’s what he said it would be. Gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades as long as they weren’t in uniform.”

“That was what they were promised,” the former president said. “That’s a very different don’t ask, don’t tell than we got.”

Powell’s statement says Mr. Clinton “is incorrect in saying I misrepresented to him how the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law of 1993 would be implemented by the military.” Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Mr. Clinton was working out his position on the policy.

“In any event, that is beside the point,” the former general continued. “I retired a few months after the law was passed. President Clinton was commander-in-chief for the next seven years and he and his military leaders were responsible for the procedures implementing the law and the policy.”

But it is interesting to see this play out as time runs out for anything to be done in 2010.
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—  John Wright